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Question Box

 

 

 

 

 

PROPITIATION

 

Scripture references are to the King James Version of the Bible

 

Q 1 John 2: 2: ‘[Jesus Christ] is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’

What does this verse teach?

 

A The word ‘propitiation’ means ‘atoning sacrifice’.

This may bring to mind the notions of mediaeval theology and pagan superstitions that an angry and vengeful God must be placated or appeased.

But reason tells us that since God Himself provided the means of salvation, His character is demonstrably that of a loving Father who desires to reconcile the human family to Himself.

 

The Apostle John underlines this view when he declares that ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins’ (1 John 4: 10; John 3: 17).

The propitiatory is the mercy seat, the place of penitence and forgiveness.

 

The ‘our’ of 1 John 2: 2 is the elect Church, to whom John was writing. Here we see in sharp relief the distinction between Election and Free Grace – the former for the Church (the Little Flock); the latter for the non-elect (the world), following the general resurrection, subject to their faith and obedience then.

 

It is clear that the benefit of Jesus’ death is fully applicable to every member of the human family.

‘For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive’ (1 Cor. 15: 22).

All have a full and fair opportunity to regain the life that was lost in Adam.

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Feb-March 2019 – ukbiblestudents.co.uk – no copyright

 

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